I might be a week +++ late, but I’m in
I’ve been in Mokolo about a scant 5 days in the last month, so no, I did no in fact fall off a moto or get run down by rabid sheep. Peace Corps sent my entire training group down to the beach in the South of Cameroon for a week of in-service training, seemingly their way of saying, thank you for not quitting yet!
Cameroonian transport: The train.
The ruckus all started on the train down to Yaoundé. Apparently, US Marines were in
Sure training was great and I learned a few new things, + got my motivation up. One of my favorite moments was sitting between my Cameroonian counterpart, (the Secretary Treasurer of my financial institution) and another Cameroonian counterpart. We were at the end of a tedious all-day session. The other counterpart is pounding his hands on his chair, somewhat like an impatient eight-year old, to try to keep himself awake in between making random commentary to me. (Yes Siobhan, you know who this is!!) The topic of the seminar is something along the lines of girls’ education. I was daydreaming… but I awake to hear my counterpart proclaiming, “For 80% of high school girls that are impregnated, it’s one of their teachers that is the culprit.”
Mind you, half of my training group is education volunteers, and they, along with their counterparts (Cameroonian teachers and high school principals) go into an uproar! I don’t know where my counterpart got his handy statistic, but I told him we were going to get jumped on the way out of the session. At least it got every one awake. And truly, it’s sadly too common that grades are exchanged for sex in high schools here—corruption is that pervasive!
A few other highlights of training week were making sand angels on the beach (Think snow angels, but less cold and with lots of sand in one’s pants as a consequence. We had to do something that reminded us of Christmas and winter!), chicken fights in the
Here’s a few other photos/my shameless come-visit-me plug, from the Southern end of
Collaboration projects = Tourism.
After training, I bust off with three other PCVs to work on a collaboration project that had formally been approved by Peace Corps. I was excited to have my friend Courtney up from the Northwest province (which, in spite of its name, is clear across the country!) Our work was intended to deal with women’s’ rights, which is a painfully pressing issue in this country, particularly in the more conservative and underdeveloped Extreme North province. It’s still going to be a great project… let’s just say we didn’t quite make the progress I’d anticipated. Our next few weeks seemed to turn into a concerted study of the best of the Extreme North’s tourism possibilities + Christmas carousing + New Years bruhaha, and of course, my birthday festivities. :)
A few highlights were Rumsiki and
Your traditional Cameroonian hut.
A little Nigerian hiking.
My love to you all, and hope 2009 is starting splendidly. :)